The Right Scribe for Your Healthcare Facility: Virtual vs. On-Site Medical Scribes

Determining which form of medical scribe services your healthcare team needs can be a harrowing task. After all, each clinician has specific requirements and preferences, particularly if they practice a specialized form of medicine. Ultimately, hospital executives must choose between two types of scribes: on-site and virtual. And while investing in either option will provide invaluable documentation assistance and improved life-work balance for your clinicians, they each bear unique advantages and challenges. Today, we’ll be comparing virtual and on-site medical scribes to assist you in choosing the right service for your clinicians while providing optimal care for your organization’s patients.

The Benefits of Virtual Medical Scribes

Some hospital executives across the United States struggle with adding medical scribes to their healthcare organization because their facilities are too difficult to staff or have space constraints. They understand full well that providing medical scribes for their clinicians can save their organization hundreds of thousands of dollars on yearly operating expenses while simultaneously increasing the quality of patient care, but their locations simply can’t facilitate on-site scribes. That’s where virtual medical scribes come in.

Perhaps the greatest benefit of virtual medical scribes is that they effectively complete all of the same tasks as on-site scribes (from standard patient documentation to billing and coding improvements) without taking up valuable space, making them a massive boon for healthcare facilities that are already at maximum capacity. Virtual scribes use a special combination of cutting-edge audio and video technology to monitor patient interactions, allowing their assigned clinicians to dedicate all of their focus and energy to caring for their patients instead of typing away into the patient’s Electronic Medical Record (EMR). Furthermore, some of the best scribe providers offer 24-hour coverage, granting your clinicians unrivaled flexibility with their scheduling.

It’s also worth mentioning that many clinicians choose virtual scribes over on-site scribes to ensure that their patient interactions aren’t inhibited due to the presence of another person. A majority of patient examination rooms are relatively small, and it can be difficult for clinicians to concentrate on their work when their on-site medical scribe is typing away at a keyboard for the duration of the patient encounter. Occasionally, some patients feel self-conscious and reluctant to communicate with their doctor when a scribe is in the room, particularly when undergoing examinations or procedures that involve more intimate areas of the body. By working with a virtual medical scribe, these clinicians can receive assistance with filling out EMRs without making their patients uncomfortable or compromising their preferred doctor–patient dynamic.

The Drawbacks of Virtual Medical Scribes

Virtual medical scribes have no performance disadvantages compared to on-site scribes. However, some clinicians feel more comfortable working with their scribes in person to convey any necessary edits or revisions to patient charts. Additionally, a good number of clinicians enjoy and value the process of conversing, teaching, and building rapport with their scribes, and it may be difficult to bond and form relationships with people you only speak to over VoIP connections or online messaging. Bear in mind that the significance of these drawbacks will vary greatly depending on the preferences and work style of each clinician.

The Benefits of On-Site Medical Scribes

On-site medical scribes provide all the same services as virtual scribes. They can increase the documentation accuracy of EMRs and manage the administrative responsibilities of their clinicians, allowing them to engage in more face-to-face interaction with patients while improving their productivity, efficiency, and work-life balance. Once again, we would be remiss not to mention the fact that many clinicians thoroughly enjoy engaging with their on-site scribes, spending time with them between patient visits and forming bonds of trust. Over time, many on-site scribes and their clinicians will naturally form mentor/mentee relationships, fostering the development and success of the next generation of healthcare professionals in the process.

Furthermore, on-site scribes can actually increase the sense of ease and security that patients feel during their examinations and checkups. Seeing a trained professional recording and checking over their medical data can help to assure them that your organization is making every effort to provide high-quality and accurate care.

The Drawbacks of On-Site Medical Scribes

The most significant drawback of on-site medical scribes is their lack of availability. It can be difficult to find qualified on-site medical scribes to cover the work shifts of your clinicians day after day if your facility is located in a remote area of the country. Furthermore, depending on the scribe company you work with, on-site scribes can cost significantly more than virtual ones. And, again, on-site scribes will take up room inside of your facility, potentially creating issues with capacity and space management.

Deciding Between On-Site and Virtual Medical Scribes

Now that you have a solid understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of virtual and on-site scribes, it’s time to determine which of these services your healthcare organization should invest in. Both can achieve fantastic results for your clinicians and patients, so this decision will often hinge upon personal preferences and budget or space constraints. If your healthcare organization has the resources to accommodate either type of scribe, then we recommend reaching out to your clinicians with a survey (or by arranging a meeting) to discuss the matter. Their input will help you to assess how your team feels about some of the more subjective benefits that we’ve discussed. When in doubt, you can always reach out to us for additional guidance and counsel.

Elite’s Medical Scribe Services

Regardless of whether you choose on-site or virtual medical scribes for your healthcare team, it’s imperative to work with a scribe provider that can match the quality and dedication of your organization. Here at Elite Medical Scribes, we train and employ the most effective and driven virtual and on-site medical scribes in the industry. Our dedication to the pursuit of efficiency, innovation, and excellence makes it possible for us to provide the highest quality medical scribe services for healthcare systems, physician groups, and independent practices alike.

At Elite, we fervently believe that recruitment is an essential component of any successful scribe program. That’s why we use a unique applicant tracking system to sort through the thousands of applications that we receive for our scribe positions, guaranteeing that each medical scribe we employ will meet and exceed the expectations of our client partners. Most importantly, all of our scribe candidates must complete a number of rigorous interviews and assessments to ensure that they have the passion and dedication required to thrive in the demanding field of healthcare.

Learn more about how Elite Medical Scribes recruits.

Unlike many scribe providers, Elite’s virtual scribes undergo the same extensive training and continual development as our on-site teams. All of our medical scribes are fully certified and participate in regular reviews, assessments and education programs to ensure that they deliver the best results and EMR conversions. We offer on-site and virtual scribes that are trained in over 30 medical specialties (including family medicine, urgent care, emergency medicine, and many more), granting you access to documentation specialists that can keep pace with clinicians in any discipline. Additionally, our advanced technical infrastructure and industry expertise makes us capable of providing virtual scribes for any medical facility in the nation. Last but not least, our dedicated product development team is fully committed to discovering and implementing the best and latest technological advancements and improvements to mitigate technical issues and keep your organization ahead of the curve.

Hire Elite Virtual and On-Site Scribes for Your Clinicians Today

Thousands of clinicians across the United States are already making use of our innovative scribe programs. Elite Medical Scribes is proud to deliver our superb medical scribe services to some of the country’s most reputable healthcare organizations. Additionally, thanks to our unwavering commitment to the education, training, and development of medical scribes, we’ve become the preferred scribe partner of a number of prestigious teaching institutions. Be sure to visit our Client Partners page to learn more about the organizations we’re working with to Enhance the Quality of Patient Care.

If you’re interested in hiring the best and brightest on-site or virtual medical scribes for your healthcare facility or want more advice on choosing the best type of scribe for your medical teams, then don’t hesitate to call or message us today. We look forward to showing you how our expertly trained medical scribes will impact the productivity and success of your organization!

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